It was Jimi Hendrix who gave this guitar player his nickname. His style influenced Walter Becker of Steely Dan and other big name axe-men. He may have written part of Stairway To Heaven, that’s a lawsuit going through the courts right now.

But on this day in 1997, the guitarist & singer for Spirit drowned in Molokai, HI. while rescuing his 12 year old son from a rip current. He rescued Quinn, but not himself. Randy California was just 45 years old.

His music is still alive, and you can hear one of his biggest hits by clicking on the picture above.